Ford Motor Company's actions to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities have earned it the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's coveted Energy Star 2007 Partner of the Year Award in Energy Management. Ford is the first automaker to receive the award two years in a row. The award will be accepted on March 21 at a ceremony in
"Ford Motor Company is committed to the responsible use of resources," said Sue Cischke, vice president, environmental and safety engineering. "Energy efficiency is critical to running a strong and successful business delivering both financial and environmental benefits."
In 2006, Ford improved energy efficiency in the
"The success of Ford Motor Company in proactively managing its energy use is a model for businesses across the country," said Bill Wehrum, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "Because buildings contribute about 20 percent of our national greenhouse gas emissions, effective energy management helps the bottom line and protects our environment."
The Partner of the Year Award recognizes efforts to use energy efficiently in facility operations and to integrate superior energy management into overall organizational strategy. Significant achievements that led to Ford's award include extensive lighting replacement programs throughout Ford's properties and improved paint processes.
Ford replaced lighting fixtures with ones that use 40 percent less energy and converted incandescent lights to low-energy, long-lasting compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) across much of its portfolio of properties – corporate offices, research and development campuses, distribution centers and plants – totaling more than 26 million square feet.
One particular project entails replacing lights at all 22 of Ford's parts distribution centers in the
Ford was also cited for developing promising new technology in its paint shops, historically the largest energy users within auto plants. Ford's new Paint Shop of the Future, being piloted at the Ohio Assembly Plant, consolidates the application of primer, base and clearcoat into a single step. By eliminating the need for separate applications, spray booths and ovens, Ford is realizing significant energy and cost savings.
In addition, the patent-pending Fumes-to-Fuel process developed by Ford and Detroit Edison, converts paint fumes into electricity that is returned to the plant power grid. The system significantly reduces paint booth emissions and produces enough energy to light a typical suburban block of homes.
Ford also relies on alternative energy sources like geothermal cooling, landfill gas reclamation, hydroelectricity, wind and solar technology to power manufacturing plants in clean, sustainable ways. In the